Fall Learning Themes for Preschool & Early Elementary Kids

Autumn is the the perfect time to use fall learning themes to inspire learning and exploration!

Kids can have very definite likes and desires when it comes to acquiring new knowledge even at a young age.  As many people will say “they are just a sponge waiting to soak up all that knowledge”!

I love using themed learning with children of all ages but especially with kids ages 3 - 10 years old! 

Truth be told, I still use this technique with my older kids too but allow them to choose many of the resources along with the themes.

The goal of a theme-based learning is to offer your child an in-depth experience that allows them to explore a variety of areas  (science, art, sensory, reading, etc) all focused on a theme they love!

For example, if you have a child who's nuts about dinosaurs, you would focus on books, puzzles, activities and even an outing where they could expore that theme.  And during Fall, seasonal learning is the best!

If you haven't tried this yet, you'll be AMAZED at how much your kids will enjoy it!

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Non-scary Pirate Books & Movies for Kids

Did you know September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day? 

Aarrghhh!

The perfect day to have some fun searching for hidden 'treasure', playing dress-up, reading a few good books and even enjoying a family movie together.

And we have everything you'll need for this fun day in our Kids Activities Pirate Blog Hop including some great crafts, fun activities and not-so-scary books & movies the whole family will enjoy!

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Easy Nature Craft for Kids: Zentangle Rocks

I've learned a few things over the years when it comes to getting kids to talk & share --

First, a good snack goes a long way ;) 

And second, kids are more likely to open up when they are preoccupied in an activity WITH an adult.

If you're doing something (like prepping dinner or checking email) while trying to have a conversation with the kids, you'll probably hear a lot of "Good." or "Fine." when you ask about their day.

BUT -- if you're both engaged in an easy & quiet activity (like a fun scavenger hunt or an easy art project) you'll be amazed at how much kids are willing to share.

Enter Zentangle Rocks!

Have you ever zentangled before? 

It's so easy, lots of fun and actually a very relaxing way to spend some time together.

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18 Autumn Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printable}

Enjoy Autumn with this awesome collection of Fall Scavenger Hunts for kids that will inspire you to get out & explore this season!

Do you know what I love most about Fall?

I mean aside from the beautiful foliage, super easy leaf activities that kids love to do and the fact that I can pull out a few of my favorite sweaters :)

I love that Fall has four mini-seasons -- it's the one time of year where I feel like there's a new start to the world every few weeks.  Think about it, many of us consider the back-to-school time as early fall -- warmer days followed by cooler evenings.  Outdoor play sessions begin to shift to the late afternoon and nighttime walks reward us with a peek into nocturnal life.

Then the weather shifts and Part 2 of Fall begins -- cooler days and nights, plus the gorgeous leaves that begin to change.  Enter leaf crafts, trips to the pumpkin patch and so many fun outdoor activities!

The next two 'seasons of Fall focus around holidays -- there's Halloween season followed by Thanksgiving.  The environment around us seems to move from cool & creepy to quiet & grateful overnight.

And with all this change, there is so much to observe & enjoy at this time of the year -- it's a wonderful time to head out on a scavenger hunt, or two, or 18!

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Care Package Ideas for College Students

Great ideas for things to include in a care package for college students!

Our son went away to college to begin his Freshman year last week. Amazingly enough, we fit everything he needed in the car, drove 900 miles to drop him off, helped him get his room set up and then turned around and drove home.

And when I say 'went away to college', I mean FAR away – 906 miles away according to the Garmin.

As we walked in the door after our trip, I saw his checkbook on the kitchen table.

The same checkbook he needed to have with him on campus.

The campus that’s 906 miles away (so not like he’ll be able to pick it up when he’s home one weekend).

 

Then came the first phone call -- two days later.

All was well, no worries there – it was just the ‘I forgot my gym bag too'.

As a parent who packed the majority of the car, I really can’t believe we forgot anything!

So enter our first college care package -- here are a few ideas on things to send along with affiliate links for items we love to have on hand and what to consider before mailing the package. 

PLUS, a free printable list to help you brainstorm ways to make dorm life a little more home-y!

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20 Owl Crafts for Kids to Make

You know how things happen in 3's?

Well this week -- 

1. we dropped our oldest off at college so now both kids are back in school,

2. found trees with their leaves changing 

3. the temperature last night dropped to 56 degrees!

Can you say ‘Fall is on the way’?!!

There’s something about the start of a new season that gets my creative juices flowing.  I’ve pulled out our Fun Things to Do in the Fall (print a free copy for your home too!) and started making plans for the things we look forward to doing in Autumn.

Family hikes and brunch with apple cider pancakes are right at the top of the list :)

With all these wonderful seasonal changes, I am definitely in the mood to get started on some Autumn themed crafts & activities too! 

Today's theme -- everything Owl!

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16 Classic Kids Books for Fall

I love sharing classic books with my kids, especially ones that I enjoyed as a child and Fall books are my favorites! 

So I've started a quarterly series on great Vintage Kids Books to feed my need for nostalgic reading :) 

My goal is to help parents & teachers introduce their kids to the books they loved to read & hear as children in order to provide a steady diet of classic literature in addition to the new and more contemporary books your kids love to read.

If you missed the other lists for Summer, Spring and Winter, you can find out them all at Classic Kids' Books for Every Season

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20 Healthy Breakfast Ideas {w/free meal planning printable!}

These healthy breakfast ideas will be a big hit (and help) during the school year!  Plus the free printable meal planner is perfect for keeping you organized in the mornings.

Today we are going to make mornings & breakfast easier, healthier and actually an enjoyable part of your day -- say "goodbye" to chaotic mornings!

I know, you think I'm talking nuts right? 

But I want to help make it happen for you this year!

So I have some AWESOME things to share with you (because I love to make life easier for everyone!):

• a FREE printable list of healthy breakfast ideas with a round-up of our favorite healthy recipes,

• tips to make mornings less stressful,

• and great way you can take control of your mornings!

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20 Outdoor Fall Science Activities

Autumn inspired science experiments & activities for kids!

I just LOVE Fall! 

Especially getting outside to enjoy the weather -- which always leads me to think about a few fun Fall themed science activities for kids.

With all the seasonal changes, science in the Fall can be so easy to come by and so colorful too -- leaf rubbings, nature projects and crafty science activities!

So today I hope to inspire you with some seasonal science -- experiment with apples, pumpkins and leaves!

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Quick & Easy Fundraising Activity for Schools

If you have kids in school, I'm sure you know school fundraisers are a big deal!

The goal, of course, is to find a quick & easy fundraising activity that doesn't take a lot of time for families to do and in my opinion, should allow the kids to get involved in fundraising efforts without having them go door-to-door.

We're always look for more practical fundraisers because honestly, how much frozen cookie dough can you really keep in the freezer?!

Since we're not crazy over the idea of selling items, we love to support our schools through the Box Tops for Education™ program  -- it's super quick, really easy and I'm going to show you a few secrets on how to double & triple the value of the Box Tops for your school this year!

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10 Creative Activities for Kids Who Can't Sit Still

10 Creative Activities for Kids Who Can't Sit Still

Creative activities for kids who have to fidget, move and stay active!

Our kids could never sit still during reading time. 

They would ask to build block towers, do headstands on the couch so they could see the book upside down or color while we read aloud.  Even as they got older, there would always be something in their hands while they listened to a story. 

School wasn't any different -- they (along with many of their peers) would only sit still for the first few pages of a book and many times, needed to have 'something to do' in addition to listening to the lesson. 

In the upper elementary and middle school classes, many of their teachers would read aloud while their kids were working on projects or homework.

Lots of parents worry about the fact that their kids just can't sit still.

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DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

DIY First Aid Kit List {with free printable!}

Use this free printable First Aid Kit list and quickly know what to include in your own medical kit for the car, classroom or college student!

We are currently packing up my oldest and getting him ready for his first year at college this week (one of those big life moments for both parents & kids)!

And in all the packing & shopping, I'm trying to think about what he'll need when he's 1,000 miles away from home.

You know, the stuff that Moms always seem to prepare for -- all those "What if" moments.

One of the items that quickly came to mind is a portable First Aid Kit that's perfect for students!

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A Perfect Back-to-School Volunteer Project for Kids

It's very important to me that our kids are introduced to volunteer opportunities. Whether it’s a random act of kindness (such as helping someone take back their grocery cart) or a long-term commitment with a local charity, volunteer work teaches them so much!

But I do admit there are challenges when you want to volunteer as a family.  Some organizations don't allow children to participate in projecs due to a variety of reasons.  And then there’s the schedule – trying to find a time when everyone in the family can participate in the same volunteer project.

With the school year beginning, we like to look for projects that we can do from home and especially things that the kids can take on as "a project of their own".  

One of the best ways we've found for kids to make a postive impact is the Box Tops for Education™ program!  It's the perfect opportunity for kids in elementary and middle school to take the lead on a project that will help others and it's something any family can easily do at home.

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Fun Math Games: Plot Points on a Map Scavenger Hunt

I'm super excited about today's activity!

Why?  It's a fun way to get the kids outside PLUS there's some math involved AND there's also an element of surprise! 

So your kids won't even notice the math & learning that's involved ;)

And it's super easy to do in your own yard or neighborhood.

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9 College Prep Tips: How to Get Ready for Freshman Year

If you have a teen, these college prep tips will help you get them ready for Freshman year!

I want to prepare you for what’s coming – the honest & brutal truth -- your kids will grow up and leave you.

I'm sure you know this but as it quickly approaches and becomes an absolute, the thought hits you like a ton of bricks.

If you’ve read our first post in the ‘get ready for college series, you’ll recall that I started talking about how we had 48 Saturdays left with our oldest. 

We are now down to our last 2 Saturdays

... just 2 more weekends as we pack & prepare to ship him 1000 miles away. 

... to a great school and an awesome college life -- but he will be gone until Thanksgiving

... and I'm told life will just never be the same.

Insert sniffles & tears here!

Getting your teen ready to move their entire living space (and life!) to another location is not an easy task! 

There’s the shopping and the packing, discussions about what life will be like, trying to organize everything and get them to decide what to take.  Plus fitting in some fun family time too!

So it's wonderful that Caribou Coffee has sponsored us to be part of their #12hrAdventure -- for us, it's a College Prep adventure day!

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